Air pollution. Smokestacks making air pollution over dramatic sky

Scope 3 Emissions

The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard classifies a company's GHG emissions into three 'scopes':

  • Scope 1 emissions: direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.
  • Scope 2 emissions: indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.
  • Scope 3 emissions: all indirect emissions (not included in Scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

According to CDP, a company’s supply chain emissions are on average 5.5 times larger than its Scope 1 and 2 emissions, it is therefore crucial that businesses tackle Scope 3 emissions to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 1.5°C.

There are numerous benefits associated with measuring and reducing Scope 3 emissions. By measuring Scope 3 emissions, organisations can:

  • assess where the emission hotspots are in their value chain;
  • identify resource and energy risks in their supply chain;
  • identify which suppliers are leaders and which are laggards in terms of their sustainability performance;
  • identify energy efficiency and cost reduction opportunities in their value chain;
  • engage suppliers and assist them to implement sustainability initiatives;
  • improve the energy efficiency of their products; and
  • positively engage with employees to reduce emissions from business travel and employee commuting.

While some companies have begun addressing their Scope 3 emissions, action in this area remains limited.

2020 Webinar Series: Reducing Scope 3 Emissions

To support companies to reduce emissions across their value chains, the UN Global Compact Network UK hosted a series of short webinars exploring how companies can reduce their Scope 3 emissions through the lens of key Scope 3 categories as defined in the GHG Protocol.

Companies who have already started on their journey to identify, measure and reduce their Scope 3 emissions shared their approach.

CATEGORY 1: PURCHASED GOODS AND SERVICES - Guest Speaker: Dorothée D’Herde, Head of Sustainable Business at Vodafone. Click here to view a recording of the event.

CATEGORY 11: USE OF SOLD PRODUCTS. Click here to view a recording of the event.